How to watch Thursday’s CNN Presidential Debate

A historic showdown between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump is set for Thursday on CNN when the presumptive major party nominees meet for their first debate this election cycle.

The debate will be the earliest such event in US history. Televised presidential debates between general election candidates have always started in September or early October, going back to the first one between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960.

Here’s how to watch the debate:

When and where will the debate take place?

The 90-minute debate will take place on Thursday, June 27, at 9 p.m. ET at the network’s Atlanta studios.

Who is moderating?

CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the event.

Where and how can I watch it?

The CNN Presidential Debate will air live on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español, and via streaming on Max for subscribers and without a cable login on CNN will make the debate available to simulcast on additional broadcast and cable news networks.

You can also follow CNN’s live debate coverage on, which will include analysis and fact checking.

What were the qualifications?

Biden and Trump will be the only presidential candidates participating in the debate.

In order to qualify, candidates had to satisfy the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution to serve as president, as well as file a formal statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

According to parameters set by CNN in May, all participating debaters had to appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency and receive at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards for reporting.

Polls that meet those standards are those sponsored by CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College, Quinnipiac University, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Biden and Trump were the only candidates to meet those requirements.

The pair has also agreed to participate in another debate hosted by ABC on September 10.

What are the rules of the debate?

The debate will include two commercial breaks, according to the network, and campaign staff may not interact with their candidate during that time. The candidates agreed to appear at a uniform podium. Microphones will be muted throughout the debate except for the candidate whose turn it is to speak. While no props or pre-written notes will be allowed on the stage, candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water. The event will not feature a studio audience.

Catch up on CNN’s recent campaign coverage

What to watch: Abortion, the economy and the Israel-Hamas war are sure to be among the most important issues discussed at Thursday night’s debate. CNN’s team outlines eight things to watch.

Campaign promises. Ahead of the debate, Trump has made a number of ambitious promises on the campaign trail, including rolling back car pollution rules and building 10 new cities. Biden, meanwhile, has vowed to protect American democracy and pass a federal law to codify the right to an abortion into law.

Read our list of Trump’s campaign promises here, and a list of Biden’s here.

A return to the roots of presidential debates. The format of CNN’s debate has a strong historical precedent dating back to the first televised debates in 1960, Zachary B. Wolf writes.

Behind the scenes. Listen as CNN goes inside the studio where the debate will take place and talks to Atlanta voters about what they want to hear on the “CNN One Thing” podcast.

Quick quiz. Test your knowledge on where the candidates stand, what they’re promising and whether you’ve heard it all before.

Voter guide. Still need to register to vote? Check out our voter guide with everything you need to know.

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